Africa’s Best Golfers Receive Bitcoin Award at Sunshine Tour

Top golfers from Africa and Europe will look to cash in on lucrative Bitcoin (BTC) payments at the end of the 2022 season following a new sponsorship of the Sunshine Tour in South Africa.

The year-round season sees golfers vie for first place on the Sunshine Tour’s overall leaderboard, the Medal of Merit. The Crypto Luno platform, which has a large footprint in South Africa and the broader African continent, has taken the lead in the general classification.

Money speaks in the sport but the language certainly evolves, with Luno dismissing the rand-based awards for the best golfers on the Medal of Merit in favor of Bitcoin. The golfer who tops the Luno Medal of Merit will receive 500,000 rand in BTC – the equivalent of $31,000 or 30,000 euros at the time of writing.

Second and third place golfers will receive R200,000 and R100,000 in Bitcoin, respectively, while Luno will also sponsor every professional golfer on a BTC Sunshine Tour 1000 Rand to encourage them to explore the exchange’s mobile app.

The Sunshine Tour is also using the new sponsorship to make a change to its rating system, moving from a money-based ranking to a points-based ranking from May 2022. This is intended to create a more equal course for golfers vying for the top spot. Merit at the end of the season.

There’s plenty to play for too, with first place also including entry to two major golf tournaments at the US Open and British Open, as well as a year-long luxury car sponsorship.

Cointelegraph attended the sponsorship announcement at the prestigious Houghton Golf Club in the heart of Johannesburg and spoke to Luno’s General Manager for Africa Marius Ritz, who has facilitated two sports-focused marketing campaigns over the past year:

“It is important on two fronts, firstly the fact that there is Bitcoin prize money, which is a first for South Africa, and possibly Africa. I think it is the first sports sponsorship in South Africa that a crypto company has been involved in.”

Luno intends to break new ground with his first sponsorship that includes a professional golf tournament, with the synergies between the two highlighted by Reitz:

“The Sunshine Tour is a well-established brand, the home of golf in South Africa. It is a trusted guide for golfers from an early age to the professional level. The association between trust and safety makes sense to us.”

Luno has made efforts to establish itself as a reliable cryptocurrency exchange that introduces new users to the ecosystem with the help of a learning portal. The company made inroads last year with a high-profile advertising campaign that featured Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok coach Rasi Erasmus teaching users how to buy BTC.

Related: Colorful billionaire real estate company in Dubai now accepts BTC and ETH

The company has now continued its exploration of the country’s sports industry – a point that Sunshine Tour Commissioner Thomas Abt believes will benefit both industries in kind:

“I think it’s great that a new brand is emerging in the space. They have strong support, they want to make noise and they’ve done it like I saw it in my head ad. They did it well and I’m sure they will continue on the Sunshine Tour.”

The impact wasn’t lost on golfers either, as Sunshine Tour pro Callum Mowat also drew comparisons of the mindset needed to master both the world of golf and cryptocurrency:

“As a golfer, you have to take risks and also have to believe that you will never get out of the game, especially after a bad shot. I am not familiar with cryptocurrencies but I know you need patience to master both.”

Reitz also acknowledged that the cryptocurrency space is still relatively nascent with the involvement of new users and teaching of basic principles as a main focus. The general manager of Luno Africa said a focus on learning and education is key, with a wider audience slowly introducing cryptocurrency through methods such as sports sponsorships and marketing campaigns:

“Golf players think differently, they have a different way of looking at risks and rewards – every shot they play on them carries a calculated risk. It’s the same thing in crypto. It’s still new and people starting to use it in their daily lives will require a change in thinking that doesn’t happen overnight.” .

The sports industry continues to be an attractive avenue for cryptocurrency exchanges, service providers, and companies to advertise their offerings. Crypto brands actively participate in the world’s biggest football leagues, on the canvas of the 80s for the UFC and around the various tracks in the Formula 1 global promotion.